Monday, 8 December 2014

Discussion Post: What "Makes" you Follow a Blog?

Last week I did a post on what makes me comment on blogs, if you'd like to read it, click here.
Recently, I cleared out my Bloglovin following list as I was following nearly 800 book blogs, half which hadn't even posted in a year and now my following amount is sitting at just over 100. It took me days and days and days but it is done, thank goodness, and I can now reward myself with copious amounts of chocolate.
Like I said, it took me a long time. I had to check each blog to see if I liked the content, see if they had posted within the last few months and whether or not the posts were in a legible format. Some blogs hadn't posted in over a year or sometimes even two years and it made me quite sad, as a few of them were blogs that I'd really loved reading, but I sadly had to unfollow them because it didn't look like they'd be posting anytime soon. A lot of the blogs I followed I wondered why I was following them, as their content wasn't anything that interested me. I think that a lot of the blogs were actually blogs I had followed to enter giveaways, even though I wasn't interested in their posts. Even now I wonder, how many of my followers have actually followed me because they enjoy reading what I have to say. Did they follow me because they like reading about me flailing and fangirling, or because they would've gotten extra entries?

Now, I want to discuss what makes us follow a blog. I know that when I was clearing out my Bloglovin there were several things I looked for in a blog to keep me following it. I will list them below and, if you'd like to comment, I'd like to know what factors persuade you to follow a blog and what factors keep you from following a blog.
Factors I Consider when Deciding Whether or Not to Follow a Blog:
  1. A legible font. So many blogs I've followed in the past have had loopy fonts and extremely small fonts or extremely large fonts and perhaps their posts are extremely interesting and provide for a wonderful discussion, but I wouldn't be able to comment because I can't read the post. A normal, preferably upright, font is fantastic because then your post will appear in a legible fashion and people can read it and comment to their heart's content.
  2. Posts written in black. When I first started blogging (ahh, all those many, many years ago...not really, my blog's not even 3 yet) each post was a different colour. I had just turned thirteen, I had read absolutely no blogs so I didn't know that to look professional and to attract people, black would be more appealing than a variation of rainbow colours, I'd also change the font for every post and it was basically a mess. For blog posts, black is best, or any other readable colour, really. I find this so ironic as generally everything in my life is pink. I really love pink, which is totally not obvious from my blog. Ha. So black would definitely be the best colour to use or other colours that don't make you squint or force you to strain your eyes. Any colour that doesn't make reading a post a challenge to who can decipher it the fastest, simple colours  that will make your blog look professional. This brings me to another topic:
  3. Consistency. For me to keep reading your blog (although this isn't a big issue and I will most likely still read your blog, regardless) it would be fantastic if all the posts were in the same colour (the majority of the post, if there are a couple of sentences in colour then that's fine, it's even nice, sometimes a bit of colour really lightens up a post) and in the same font. Like I said, the majority of posts, if it's a post you're really excited about then use colour and use a different font, it's your blog and you can do what you like with it, I'm just stating my personal preferences! I think, however, that your blog will exude professionalism if each "style"of post is consistent.
  4. Mainly YA or Middle-Grade. Now for this, this is for the blogs that I personally follow, as YA/MG is what I read. I'm a teenager, I don't read erotica or books with excessive violence and sexual events, I follow blogs that mainly post about books that are within the genres I read. When I was sifting through the blogs, I found that a lot of them were posting reviews and cover reveals and such to do with adult-related books, which made me quite uncomfortable. I realise that a lot of the bloggers I used to follow are older than they were when they first started blogging (as am I) and I understand that their reading tastes are going to evolve, which is fantastic! I don't mind the odd post here and there featuring an adult book, but if that starts featuring in the majority of your posts, I will, unfortunately, unfollow as the posts don't contain things that hold my interests and and they maybe posts that may be inappropriate for me.
  5. Post frequently. Obviously, I know that this isn't possible most of the time. I don't mean frequently as in three times a week, I mean frequently as in 2 or 3 times a month. I understand that life is extremely busy and that it's exams and work and extra-murals and sometimes we just don't have time and if I really enjoy your blog, I'm not going to unfollow you because you haven't posted within a week or two. We take hiatuses. We go through difficult times. Sometimes we don't feel like reading or blogging and I completely understand that as I do it too. I've recently been blogging less and less because I'm cramming the end of this year's work and the only things I really have time for are reading, piano and singing. I'm not going to unfollow you quickly, but if you haven't posted in the last six months, I might have to consider it.
  6. Blog design. Unfortunately, most of people do look at one's blog design. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, mine is also just a background and a header I made, you don't need to have paid for it and it doesn't have to be some fancy graphic, but it must be somewhat appealing. I'm really not that fussed when it comes to blog designs, but if your blog is in neon colours that hurt my eyes or have cluttered sidebars and an illegible font, I may not follow you as it might be too bright or a bit too busy for me. Sometimes I think my blog is too pink and bright, so if you find it is that way, please do let me know!
  7. Numerous spelling errors. I haven't (fortunately) come across a blog that has been bombarded with spelling/grammatical errors, but if I did, I probably wouldn't follow that blog, as correct spelling and grammar is something that's very important to me. If there are quite a few spelling/grammar mistakes (besides the odd two or so) it will make me feel a bit meh because it really freaks me out. It's stupid, I know.
That's pretty much it! These are the things I looked for in blogs when I was in the process of deciding whether or not I should keep following them and of course it differs from person to person. I'm glad that I've reduced the list as I was getting feed that didn't remotely interest me and I was following blogs that haven't posted since the first year I started blogging. I hope none of you were offended by this post and I hope that you will understand that although I really, really, really, don't like unfollowing people, sometimes it has to be done. It isn't nice losing a follower but if your posts aren't particularly related to what I like reading about (although I'm sure they will appeal to many, many people) I won't comment or visit your blog regularly and I don't want to be a "ghost" follower. 

6 comments:

  1. Aw I totally get what you mean. Legible font is so incredibly important. I've come across what seemed to be fantastic discussion posts but I just haven't been able to decipher the content, just because I couldn't make sense of the font. So that's a big factor for me as well. I'm not too fussed about the black (coming from someone whose blog is written in grey and the occasional rose pink. I'm so particular :P) What really matters for me is content. I like a good balance of reviews, discussions but also personal posts. I love learning a little more about the blogger themselves. And I like the intimacy that a blog offers. It's nice when everyone can get to know each other a tad better, swap thoughts with ease and whatnot! :)

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  2. A while back I also unfollowed a bunch of nonactive blogs. It's sad when people suddenly stop posting, but at the same time it's no use to keep following them :( Readability is so important! If your colors clash and if you use goofy letters that are hard to read, I'm not going to take the effort to follow you. I always wish I wasn't so influenced by blog designs, because it's not fair. That is why I try to focus on the posts really hard.

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  3. I know, there's been so many blogs I've wanted to read/comment on but I really haven't been able to due to the illegible font! I think I should change it saying just black, I meant more like one certain readable colour - better edit that! :P Content is definitely very important and also what makes me follow, a lot of blogs contain mostly memes and that isn't enough to interest me. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  4. It is sad when people stop blogging, especially if it's a blog one really enjoyed reading! :( I agree that we shouldn't be influenced by blog design, but sometimes if there's a lot of clashing colour it can make it quite hard to read, but if the posts are good I will keep following. :) Thanks for commenting! <3

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  5. I definitely take into consideration which books they are reviewing. It doesn't matter if the books are YA, but are the books something I have read/would read? Even if we don't, I sometimes follow if they have awesome discussions! OR even if they're trashing my favourite book, if they make it funny, I'll be clicking the follow button. Or if I know them from Goodreads or something.

    I'm really, really new to the blogosphere community. (I co-blog at My Little Corner for books and we've started blogging 2 months ago, if that!) So, I went a little crazy and started following ANY AND EVERY blog that interested me AT ALL!! My feed was overflowing and now I am slowly, cleaning out the blogs I follow and keeping the blogs that have posts that interest me AND post often. :)

    Great post! Certainly a discussion starter!
    ~Fari
    A Recent-ish Blog Post: Does the Guilt Crush You? @ My Little Corner For Books (Warning: Involves chihuahuas, awesomeness/weirdness depending on how you look at it and guilty confessions about DNF-ing books! XD)

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  6. I'm one of those auto-follow blogger, but I'm also notorious for unfollowing a blog. Mostly, if the blogger couldn't be bothered reciprocating with comments, I tend to unfollow. I also look at the frequency of book promos they post. If a blog consistently posts cover reveals, blitzes and such, there's probably a good chance I won't be by for a visit. I also don't like blogs with a bajillion ads on their sidebars. Basically, I look for substance.

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